Dale remembers fallen flyers
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
TRIBUTES were paid to more than 100 airmen who lost their lives while flying in the skies above Teesdale during a moving service in Barnard Castle last week.
Teesdale Aviation Day was started by town residents John Yarker and Tony Galley 24 years ago as a commemoration for those who died in the many military plane crashes in the area. The annual event is held in the Remembrance Garden on Galgate where three stones are laid in memory of the airmen.
In opening the service, Revd Darren Moore said: “We are gathered together in the sight of Almighty God particularly to remember those men and women who lost their lives whilst serving with the Royal Air Force and Air Transport Auxiliary in Teesdale and the western Pennines.
“As we give thanks for their lives, let us remember those who serve in the Royal Air Force today, praying especially for those who serve at RAF Leeming.
“May these stones be a constant reminder to all who pass this way of the loyal service of those, in service of Queen and country, seek freedom, justice and peace of all peoples.”
Wreaths were laid at the stones by among others town mayor John Blissett, RAF Leeming Squadron Leader Peter McKeen and Barnard Castle School Combined Cadet Force leader Major Caroline Connor.
Bugler Andrew Nicholson sounded the Last Post and Reveille while Barry Waldron, of The Vintage Pipers, performed The Piper’s Lament.